The question of which is older between softball and baseball has been an ongoing debate for long. These two sports are closely related and similar to each other including the choice of equipment, gear and even some rules. However, despite the many similarities, it is worth noting that there are a few important rule differences.  A major difference between these two sports is seen in the fact that there are 9 innings in baseball while in softball there are 5 innings.  The bats used in these two sports differ incredibly in terms of length and weight.

Which one is older? Softball or baseball?

While it is seemingly hard to distinguish the age of these two sports, baseball is older than a softball.  This is because softball is a direct descendant of baseball. Softball was developed from indoor baseball in 1887 in Chicago. In those years, the sport had various names including kitten ball, diamond ball, mush-ball, and playground ball.  Ideally, the sport was developed for female players as they did not participate in baseball as it was considered to a masculine participant sport.  Even in those years, the two sports differed greatly in terms of size of the field, the number of participants and playing style among other differences.

History of softball

Since its inception, the popularity of softball has grown immensely with many people across the globe becoming fond of the sport. It is highly entertaining and competitive thereby making a great sport to perfect and hone your sportsmanship.  The name softball was crafted in 1926 to replace the many names that were previously used to describe the sport.  In 1936, the Joint Rules Committee on Softball standardized the sport’s rules across the US.  In the 1940s, fast-pitch softball became a dominant variant of the sport across the globe. Slow-pitch softball became popular in 1953 after it was added to the Amateur Softball Association program.

Over the years, the softball has grown incredibly in terms of popularity and improvements to the rules and playing equipment.  For instance, in 1991, the sport was selected to feature during the Summer Olympics of 1996.  For more information on the origins and history of softball, visit Baseball Eagle.

Basics of softball

Just like in baseball, the field where softball features a diamond-shaped infield with four bases. The goal and focus of playing the sport are scoring more runs than the opponent. Runs are scored when players are able to successfully round the four bases and finally cross the home plate. There are two variations of the sport; slow-pitch and fast-pitch variations.  The slow-pitch variation is mostly played in recreational leagues and preteens. The rules in this variation are relaxed compared to those in the fast-pitch variation.  In the latter (fast-pitch), the rules are strict as it is commonly in competitive leagues and world-class tournaments. In fast-pitch softball, players throw breaking pitches such as sliders, rise balls, and screwballs.

What to know about softball

For you to enjoy playing softball to the fullest, you should invest in the best quality equipment and playing gear. You can seek the guidance of pro-players to recommend where to buy a new cleat. Similarly, for bats and protective gear, you can search on the internet for the most reliable and dependable brands and models. This guarantees that you get equipment that is durable. Consequently, the performance of high-end playing equipment is known to be unmatchable by that of poor quality equipment. For youthful players who are playing for recreation, you can buy for them softball gloves in the little league among other equipment.

Softball is an exciting sport that can also be used as a bonding activity for family, friends and even colleagues. Always ensure that you invest in the right safety gear for ultimate protection when in the pitch.